The Galleon was a big ship that was used primarily as a warship and later on, as a cargo sea vessel mostly by the Spaniards between the 15th and the 16th century. One of the most popular trade routes these ships ever took was the Manila-Acapulco route passing through the length of the Pacific Ocean.
As some of the Galleons were used to transport huge amounts of goods and commodities over water, it was a big target for pirates during that time. It was the golden age of pirates who used to run through several towns and looting and capturing other ships in the sea all to increase their wealth.
As the Galleons were big in nature compared to other ships used by pirates, they had to compensate with big guns all around them to protect themselves from pirate attacks. This helped them protect their cargo keeping it safe from sea bandits. They might not be able to outrun and out-maneuver pirate ships but they were armed enough to deter any attacks.
Pirates and their ships
Pirates at the time preferred much smaller but faster boats to use in plundering the seas. This allowed them to spot targets and catch up to them with their speed. Getaway will be fast and easy as well using their boat’s speed. They can also take on shallow waters, something big ships cannot do as they run the risk of running aground. Smaller ships also made it easier to careen them for maintenance. As speed is their primary concern, they regularly need to keep their hulls clean and smooth. Here are some of the most popular pirate ships that paled in comparison to size with the Galleon.
Queen Anne’s Revenge
Blackbeard was one of the most feared pirates in history. More than the way he looked and imposed fear as he walked the ship, he also looted entire towns with the help of his crew. He is known as a shrewd leader relying on force and fear as he robbed other people.
Blackbeard, whose real name is Edward Teach used a captured French-owned slave ship named La Concorde de Nantes and made it his flagship. He renamed it to Queen Anne’s Revenge after fitting it with about 40 guns. As the ship was mainly built for speed, it was the perfect boat for Blackbeard.
Black Bart or Captain Bartholomew Roberts was one of the most successful pirates in his time looting multiple ships a and getting big bounties of goods. He was also known to be one of the most cold-hearted pirates as he once burned down a ship knowing there were 80 slaves still inside.
In all these, he used his ship the Royal Fortune which was a French Vessel which he got near Newfoundland. This was not the first ship he commandeered but being as lazy as he was thought to be, he named all of the succeeding ships Royal Fortune. The first one was equipped with 42 cannons with the help of more than 150 men on board. It was far from the size of a Galleon but able to take on most ships especially against the Royal Navy.
This was a 46-gun vessel that was one of the fastest to ever sail the open seas. This is one of the reasons why pirates preferred smaller boats compared to the Galleon. However, they would always think twice about attacking a Galleon because of its size and firepower. However, the Fancy which was captained by Henry Every who had many aliases such as John Avery, Long Ben, and Benjamin Bridgeman was known for one big score.
As they plundered trading ships across the Indian Ocean, one ship in July 1965 proved to be a lucrative attack. The Fancy was used to overpower a 40-gun Indian treasure ship. The ship Ganj-i-Sawai belonged to the Grand Mogul of India and carried a big fortune.